Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bits and Pieces: October

This month has been, well, insane. It feels like a year has past since Christopher was born. I am planning to write about the whole baby having heart surgery thing, but frankly I haven't had the energy to write about it the way I want to. Instead: random fall fun! Yes, we had at least one fun day this month.

The day before we found out about Christopher's heart defect, we took a trip down Highway 35 in Wisconsin. It was beautiful. The colors were vibrant, the sun was shining, the views were breath taking, and the Packer game was on the radio. A perfect fall day. I want to do the drive again sometime with my mom, who, unlike Ben, would be willing to stop at all the cutesy-pie shops along the route. We did stop at a pumpkin patch, though. Clare enjoyed herself.

Clare was super excited to ride this "train." I thought it looked extremely unsafe, but my better judgement was overturned by Clare's excitement. She loved it, and she did not get hurt.

Christopher was thrilled.

The top of the sign was cut off in my haste to take this photo before Clare ran away. All well, if we do go back next year we'll still be able to see how much she's grown.

Tarzan! Kind of.
My little family.
We ended the day at Nelson's Creamery in Nelson, Wisconsin. The sandwiches were delicious, and we want to go back for the ice cream sometime when the line isn't 50 people deep.


Last weekend Ben took Clare to a pumpkin carving party at a friend's house. I am a sucker for pictures of kids in pumpkin patches, so I couldn't resist these photos he took of Clare picking out her pumpkin.


Clare went trick or treating tonight, but she didn't really like it. I am not surprised - she is fairly shy and reserved around people she doesn't know. She did, however, like getting candy. She's no fool.

Do you like her costume? It was the only one left in her size. Luckily she liked it, and it was only $5. Win! (Oh, and in case you can't tell, it is a parrot.) Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Just Because

My little music lover:

Also this:

And this:

 Oh, and this. Okay, someone stop me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

One Week

I just looked back to see what I wrote about Clare at one week. All I posted was a picture. Not helpful, self of two years ago! Christopher is busy being a baby. Crying, eating, sleeping (except for between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.), and pooping all on an endless loop. We are tired. He is very cuddly though, and has hardly lost any of his birth weight.  He is in the 90th percentile for height and weight. Christopher gets very angry when he is not immediately attended to, and has the most pathetic sad face you have ever seen. I'll have to try to get a picture of it. I remember Clare being more alert at this point than Christopher is - but who knows, since all I posted about Clare at this age was a picture.

Speaking of the big sister, she seems to be adjusting well. Or well-ish, anyway. She came back from the park yesterday, saw me in the kitchen, and demanded to know where Christopher was. She likes to snuggle with him, and calls him "our baby." She sang him a lullaby the other night. I so wish the video camera had been nearby. It was very sweet. On the other hand, she is much quicker to throw a tantrum than she was before. She has told me to put the baby down a few times. I think the real test will be when Ben goes back to work and it is just the three of us here on our own. I have been a bit impatient with her - due to sleep deprivation - and I am going to try my best not to be.

Today we went to lunch with my brother and sister and their spouses, and we were talking about our weekend plans. I had a sudden flash of jealousy of their freedom, and all of the things they were doing this weekend, while I knew I was going to be home with a newborn and two-year-old, covered in spit up. I wished, just for a moment, that I had the same freedom. But then I got to cuddle with Christopher, and watch Clare dance around the family room, and I knew there was nowhere else I'd rather be. I'd just like to get a little more sleep.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 4

He's here. Our little boy. The vital statistics: Christopher Lewis. 9 pounds, 14 ounces, 20.5 inches long. A real butterball. He is named after Ben's uncle and grandfather.

I went into labor at about 10:30 on Thursday night. Things progressed slowly, but were active enough that I couldn't sleep. We finally went to the hospital at about 6 a.m. I had my mind set on a quick labor and delivery. Everyone says the second labor happens so much faster than the first! I thought this baby was going to be born by 10 a.m. Yeah, I was wrong. The midwife on duty told me I was only dilated to 3. I was in tears. Having not slept the night before, I wasn't exactly at my best. They were talking about sending me home. Thankfully, things started progressing and I got to stay. I labored for some time in my room, switching from the tub to the rocking chair. At about 10:20, the midwife broke my water. Things still progressed slowly, until about 12:00, when all hell broke loose.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but I will tell you this: if Ben and I have a third baby, I will be requesting the epidural the minute I walk into the hospital. I will not be pushing out another nearly 10 pound baby without the assistance of drugs. I was such a cliche - I literally screamed that I wanted the drugs. But then, after about two hours of hard labor and 25 minutes of pushing, he was here. He was crying before he was even all the way out. I got to cuddle with him for about two hours before he was taken away to be weighed and measured.

Clare came to the hospital on Friday night to meet her new brother. She was very excited. She greeted me, but then ran to the baby. When it was her grandmother's turn to hold him, she gave him up reluctantly, and then stood nearby demanding her next turn.

I lay in bed on Friday night, staring at Christopher. It really is a miracle - this perfect little thing formed entirely in my body, and then I physically pushed him out. How do we do it? And then we have this little stranger, so needy, so tiring, but so loved. Welcome to the world, Christopher. We are very glad to have you.

Minutes after birth.
His first bath, courtesy of Daddy.

Mom and Christopher.

Clare meeting her little brother.

Getting ready to go home.

Clare with her bribe. I mean teapot, a present from the baby. She also got those rockin' polka dot high tops from her grandma. She was in heaven.

The new family of four.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 40 (Plus 1 Day)

In my mind, the conversation goes like this:

Me: Get out, please.
Baby: Swimming, swimming in the swimming pool.
Me: Get out.
Baby: When days are hot, when days are cool, in the swimming pool!
Baby: Breast stroke, side stroke, a fancy dive or two, oh don't you wish that you could have nothing else to do?
Me: For the love of God GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT.

(Please tell me other people remember that dippy song.)

I had an appointment with my midwife today. Baby is fine, etc. She stripped my membranes, which they didn't do with Clare, so we'll see if that does anything. She is confident that I will go into labor before next Wednesday. If I haven't, baby number 2 is scheduled to be forcibly evicted that day.

So we wait. I have not been sleeping well, and although I tell myself it is just good preparation for all of those upcoming night time feedings, it makes me very crabby. My patience with Clare (and everyone else) is very thin. I am trying not to take things out on her, but sometimes I just want her to go away. I feel bad about this. But not that bad. She is just lucky she is so cute. At my appointment today, she told the midwife (unprompted) that the baby is coming to live at our house, and will sleep in a crib. So maybe she understands what is happening? I am sure we will all have a bit of a shock when reality sets in, but I think we've done what we can to prepare Clare.

I just realized that while I've been so busy getting Clare ready, I have done nothing to prepare myself for labor and recovery. Yes, I've done it before, but maybe a review wouldn't hurt? Excuse me while I go Google labor breathing techniques. And take an inventory of my medicine cabinet. Do Tucks expire?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Things I No Longer Do

Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, a few things have changed. I no longer do any of the following:

1. Pluck my eyebrows, put product in my hair, or wear make up of any kind on a regular basis. Sometimes I even forget to put on deodorant. Don't worry, I still shower.

2. Leave the dishes in a pile on the counter for Ben to do. I do dishes after every meal.

3. Shower in the morning.

4. Spend all day Saturday cleaning. I now spread it out throughout the week. At least, I did until recently.

5. Wear shoes other than flip flops (also due to being pregnant).

6. Wake up to an alarm (unless you count Clare).

7.  Have regular conversations with someone older than two between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

8. Keep track of deadlines, proposals, and emails. Now I keep track of whether or not Clare has pooped that day and if I've changed the sheets recently (spoiler alert: I haven't). Oh, and the contents of my refrigerator.

9. Pay attention to what day of the week it is. Once Clare has more activities this will probably start to matter again.

10. Watch TV shows for adults. I now watch Elmo. Lots of Elmo.  (And I've discovered that Big Bird is actually pretty stupid. Elmo at least has some self awareness. Yes, I know they are just puppets. This is my life now.)

So is this good or bad? Am I happy or bored or depressed? I'll have to get back to you on that. Probably around mid-November, when I am dealing with a 2-year-old and an infant all day long by myself. I will likely have dropped the showers from my routine at that point.